Fatal hit-and-run on 21st Street in Astoria puts pressure on DOT

By Bill Parry

A 45-year-old man was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver as he tried to cross 21st Street near 30th Road in Astoria Wednesday night, according to the NYPD. Police were searching for the driver of a dark colored sedan who sped away from the scene.

First responders arrived on the scene just before 11 p.m. and discovered the victim lying in the roadway with severe trauma to the body. He was rushed to Elmhurst Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead, authorities said.

Officials have not identified the victim pending notification of his family. There have been no arrests and the investigation was continuing.

“I am saddened to learn of the fatal hit-and-run on 21st Street and 30th Road last night,” City Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria) said. “We urge anyone who has information about the perpetrator to contact the 114th Precinct immediately.”

On Thursday morning there was still shattered glass at the intersection where the collision occurred. A woman raced across, pushing her cart ahead on oncoming traffic.

“This intersection has long been a danger in our community,” Constantinides said. “Since 2014, we have been speaking with DOT about traffic safety measures on this corner. The lack of a traffic light here is exacerbated by the surroundings, including the Variety Boys & Girls Club where children attend programs and classes every day.”

The city Department of Transportation will begin installing additional traffic lights on 21st Avenue this spring but at 21st, 24th and Crescent streets, not 30th Road where there is no crosswalk or stop sign.

“This fatality punctuates the great need for traffic safety measures at this intersection, one that our community has known for years,” Constantinides said. “I call on the DOT to conduct a traffic study and install a traffic light at this corner to prevent further tragedies like this one. We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the victim of this crime.”

A spokesman said the DOT stands with the community regarding last night’s hit-and-run.

“We have studied this specific location for a traffic signal in the past,” he said. “Although it did not meet the criteria at the time, we are taking another look at the intersection for potential safety enhancements.”

Activists from the Coalition for Traffic Calming on 21st Street will set out flowers for the victim at the intersection around 5:45 p.m.

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr[email protected]local.com or by phone at (718) 260–4538.

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